The extremist Hindu Nepal Defense Army (NDA), has issued a statement acknowledging responsibility for a bomb attack last week on Kathmandu Cathedral. Their statement adds: “We want all the one million Christians out of the country.
The statement was distributed during a public demonstration organized by the Church in Nepal on 31 May, to create awareness among the people on the issue of religious freedom and the rights of every citizen to profess their own faith.
A large part of Nepal's civil society, groups of every race and ethnic background, human rights activists, various religious communities, have all publicly expressed their solidarity with the Christians and disapproval of the fundamentalist groups, revealing a Nepalese society united in the values of respect, pluralism, and religious freedom.
In Nepal, Christians make up 2.4% of the population. Church leaders have voiced concern about the NDA's threat. According to analysts, the group is made up of former soldiers and members of the police force who created the paramilitary organisation after the resignation of King Gyandera, which heralded the arrival of a democratic secular system and the rise to power ex-Maoist groups after centuries of rule by a Hindu monarch
This sudden change has not been well received by several Hindu groups, who have begun organizing terrorist attacks.
The Nepal Defense Army has, from the beginning, been a group fighting for the return of the Hindu monarchy. It has already carried out several attacks on Muslims and Christians. Last year Salesian Father Johnson Moyalan, was killed on 1 July.
The Christian community, with the support of local authorities, has taken security measures, organized guards on their churches and issued an alert to all their communities in the country. “Our mission in Nepal will not change,” local Christians said, mentioning their call to preach the Gospel and to bear witness to the faith even in times of difficulty.
There are nearly 7,000 Catholics in Nepal. The Church in Nepal is involved in social services, with the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, and generally well-received by the people.
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